Nobody likes taking medication, but as the saying goes, there are no awards for suffering. So when symptoms like a sore throat, aches and pains, or sleep disruption occur, plenty of consumers reach for over-the-counter (OTC) medications for relief.

Unfortunately, the wrong flavor can be a real deterrent. Some syrups, drops, and gummies are sickly-sweet, while others feature a strongly medicinal flavor that takes true grit to get down. 

Manufacturers naturally want to make the most appealing product possible, and that means tracking changing tastes. Here are a few of the current top flavors in the OTC medicine market.


Lemon Mint

It wasn’t that long ago that the shelf for cough drops was predominantly populated with cherry or menthol flavors. There wasn’t a ton of variety. Today, that has changed dramatically, with a range of options that appeal to different palates.

Swiss company Ricola has become a popular brand, starting with their original, natural herbal cough drops that feature a blend of peppermint, wild thyme, hyssop, sage, lemon, and more. With that being said, the herbal concoction can be a bit strange for the American palate.

Enter Ricola Herbal Throat Drops in soothing and refreshing lemon mint. This combination of lemon balm and menthol from peppermint distills the original blend down to the most appealing flavor combo. 

With only natural flavors and colors as well as a sugar-free option, it’s not hard to see why this cough drop is a popular alternative to the overly sweet or shockingly menthol options of old.


Related: The Best Immune Boosting Foods 


Honey Lavender

This flavor combination appeals to a distinctly adult palate, and it’s no surprise, since it’s found in Redeem Therapeutics CBD Sleep Gummies. 

Rated the Best CBD Gummies of 2022 by Forbes Health, this product is made with all-natural ingredients and broad spectrum CBD extract. In other words, it has all of the chemical compounds (cannabinoids, terpenes, etc.) naturally found in the cannabis plant, with the exception of THC.

These gummies are organic, vegan, and gluten-free, and the product adheres to Good Manufacturing Practices standards. With 50mg of CBD per 2-gummy serving, the gummies also offer potency and easy scalability for personalized dosing. With a pleasant, sweet, and floral flavor, this product is definitely designed to appeal to adults.



Many adults have outgrown the sugary flavors they preferred as kids. You won’t catch too many reaching for bubble gum or strawberry cough syrup. With that being said, there are also plenty who hate the medicinal taste of adult options.

Those seeking a happy medium are sure to appreciate the nostalgia of grape syrup. It’s one of the few flavors popular among both kids and adults, perhaps because it’s just incredibly palatable.

Delsym Adult Cough Suppressant was the number one pharmacist-recommended brand of cough suppressant for 2020-2021, according to U.S. News & World Report. It offers 12 hours of symptom relief, it’s sulfite- and alcohol-free, it’s suitable for day or nighttime use, and the grape flavor is mild enough to appeal to mainstream tastes.


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The best-selling cough syrup on Amazon can’t be wrong. This mykind Organics Cough & Mucus Immune Syrup from Garden of Life has a lot to tempt conscious consumers, starting with the fact that it’s certified USDA Organic and Non-GMO Project Verified. It also boasts no added sugars, unlike some other OTC syrups.

Actress and health advocate Alicia Silverstone, who co-founded the mykind Organics brand, touts the natural ingredients and non-toxic extraction methods that consumers can feel good about. The company is also carbon-free.

What about product efficacy? Ingredients like natural berry, ivy, and herbal extracts purport to loosen mucus, relieve cough and congestion symptoms, and soothe sore throats. As a bonus, it has a tart elderberry flavor that may appeal to adult palates more than the sugary fruit flavors often found in cough syrups.

While tastes will certainly vary from one consumer to the next, spotting trends in flavor profiles not only helps brands compete but also ensures that customers enjoy symptom relief with palatable products.


To learn more about our products and insights, get in touch with our team at Symrise today, Contact us here! 

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